Groundhog Day: You are Phil Connors

Phil Connors wakes up at the same time, the same place. Same music playing on the radio. Same annoying radio personalities.

And worst of all, he has to do the same horrible report about Ground Hog Day. In his view, the worst freakin’ day of the year.

How many of us are living the life of Phil Connors? We go to work, or maybe to school. We eat. We sleep. Watch some television. Read a novel.

At some point, some of us, just like Phil Connors, start to realize that every day is the same. At first we’re shocked, horrified. We hear that alarm playing the same music at it did the day before and we wonder at first if we’re in some horrible dream. But no, it’s real. That fat guy is waiting for you, just like he does every day.

So, like Phil, we decide to at least make the best of the situation. We think that if we accept this cyclicality, we will be truly content.

We gorge ourselves on food. We chase women. We think only of ourselves.

In a word, we become hedonists. Self-ingratiating bastards.

But at a point, even that starts to be just the same old thing. And even worse, we see the illusion of it all.

Usually, it begins to fall apart when we find something we actually do care about. When we allow our hearts to open a bit to the possibility of wishing that the days might go on, might change.

Sometimes it’s when we meet that special someone. Someone we might actually care about. Or maybe it’s when we realize that we want a deeper connection with the one we’re already with. Or when we read a beautiful book and realize we wish we could create something so magnificent.

The problem, though, is that we’ve spent so many days trapped in the cycle of life, the day where everything is the same. And so we think we need to act just like we did when the world was flat.

So, we become like Phil. We look at every person as if they exist only for one day, and all we want is to have them for that very moment. So, we again close our hearts, and use whatever tricks we can pull out of our magic hat and hope that person, hope that whatever-it-is that we care about it will fall into our laps.

The problem, though, the problem is that real things, real things like love don’t exist on the surface, they don’t exist in a world where one day is the same as all the others.

And some of us, it’s too hard for us to bear when we realize this. Because we think that we’ll always be stuck in Groundhog Day, living a life in circles, chasing our tales and ending up dead and alone.

And so we become like Phil. Killing ourselves over and over again. If not physically then from within. We shut ourselves off and try and try to fight the cyclicality of the world. We become depressed, angry, upset. Anything to escape this same old world. There’s this thing someone really smart said, that she was convinced that spouses who argue, it’s really because they are bored.

Hopefully, we become like Phil and realize things can’t go on like that. We can stab ourselves from within, throw our souls off of buildings, try and hit our conciense with a bus, but they’re just going to keep coming back.

One day, our heart, it’s just gonna have to open. And maybe it’ll seem like we’re down and out, like we’re weary, sitting in a cafe like Phil, pouring our guts out to our personal Rita (whether it’s a person or a journal), but really there’s something beautiful happening. We’re like a bud after winter, a bud that is beginning to bloom into a beautiful flower.

And so, we start to let go of our tricks, of the perception of the cyclical world. We start to realize that while that day might be repeating, we can fill it with whatever we want. That day, it may be the same, but it is only the same the way a canvas is the same before we splatter it with paint.

We begin to learn. To open ourselves to truth.

And it is only then that we begin to charm our Rita. It is only then that we begin to show her that we’re really a something. A something that doesn’t depend on tricks or flattery but on true content from within so that we can bring content to the world around us.

And so, our Rita, whether it is our writing, our painting, that beautiful person we’ve always been searching for, will somehow just start appearing in front of our eyes. They will buy us at a singles auction. Open their hearts to us.

And when this happens, when we have embraced the world, have turned it into a world where maybe we’re doing the same thing every day, but we’re turning it inside out with our hearts and minds, well then, that day will begin to click forward, will begin to look like a different day, finally.

And like Phil, we’ll go dancing in the snow, because we’ll realize that this is the way it can be every day for the rest of our lives.






9 responses to “Groundhog Day: You are Phil Connors”

  1. bentzy Avatar

    brilliant! I loved the movie when i first saw it, and this take on it will probably make me love it even more.

    kol hakavod!

    1. The Pop Chassid Avatar

      Thank you for the kind words!

  2. RebMoshe Avatar

    wash, rinse, and repeat.

    I had a similar take, though I did have to watch it about as many times as Phil had to wake up, until I finally got it.

    1. The Pop Chassid Avatar

      lol, yeah, it’s a great movie. I love how because a movie may be a children’s movie or a comedy, people have trouble realizing that it may actually possess depth. That made it even more exciting to write the articles on Mary Poppins and GH Day.

  3. Avromie Avatar

    I just watched this because of you. bI thought the point was about letting go of our ego, to stop trying to gratify ourselves. The boring, miserable day became a day filled with meaningful things to do by helping others. The same day then became the best day ever. And Phil didn’t have to sleep with Rita. He just had to love and he was loved back.

    1. The Pop Chassid Avatar

      Great interpretation, and I definitely agree. I think that letting go of the ego is probably one of the biggest of the whole movie.

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